I’m visiting SeeBeyond in Monrovia, CA* today. SeeBeyond builds enterprise application integration solutions for a wide range of customers using some really cool middleware technology they’ve developed – check out their website for details. They were acquired by Sun last month, and ever since the deal closed I’ve wanted to talk to them. This morning I flew down from San Jose to Burbank** on SouthWest*** and drove down the Foothills Freeway to Monrovia. After introductions, and plugging in to the local network (which is mostly hooked up to SWAN – still some 10.* addresses to worry about), I talked with a group of managers and directors about Sun’s technical grade structures, including the DEs, Fellows, and Technology Directors. Then this afternoon I met with a smaller group of directors to share some of what we’ve been doing at StorageTek and discuss whether any of it could apply to SeeBeyond. I found the exchanges very useful: I think we’re off to a good start.
As with StorageTek, it’s important to avoid the “I’m from the Government; I’m here to help” attitude. The last thing a bunch of engineering managers who are under schedule pressure want to hear is a lecture on the value of horizontal communications or an admonition to send off all their top people for ARC duty. The goal is to learn from each other while keeping the customer satisfied – not a mindless Borg-like assimilation.
* Yes, I was confused by the name too – Monrovia sounds like it belongs in Transylvania, not West Africa. However this Monrovia is a suburb of Los Angeles.
** Of course I’m of that generation that automatically prepends Beautiful downtown whenever I hear Burbank. The curse of pop culture….
*** First time on SouthWest for at least ten years. Of course I’d planned to fly jetBlue, but our functionally challenged travel agents couldn’t figure out how to book it….